We affirm the beauty and wisdom of God revealed in non-human animals. We affirm their ability to think, feel and live in relationship with humans and one another – yet also to suffer.
Western society has long treated animals as unfeeling machines, as mere commodities. This reaches its climax in today’s factory farms.
Followers of the Prince of Peace, we commit to take animal life, happiness and suffering more seriously in our own dietary choices, both as individuals and communities. We commit to campaign against injustice and cruelty wherever it takes place, raising our voice for those who have none.
Every year, 70 billion land animals are killed for human consumption. A staggering 60 million animals are killed every hour around the world. Globally, 2/3 of agricultural animals are ‘factory farmed’. They live in tight, cramped conditions, with little or no access to the outside. Many are subject to painful ‘mutilations’ like beak-clipping and tail-docking, often without anaesthetic. These mutilations are only necessary due to the cramped conditions the animals are kept in.
This is going on every day, yet mostly it happens behind closed doors. In the US, several recent “ag-gag” laws restrict public access to farm sites. This leaves many with the impression that the animal industry has something to hide, as is regularly confirmed in hidden camera operations by animal advocacy groups. The situation is better in the EU, but leaves much to be desired. Many cases of sadistic abuse of farmed animals have been recorded on UK farms in recent years, and the following practices are common on EU farms:
• Keeping 17 chickens per m2 ()
• 6 million EU veal calves, ‘the vast majority’ in confined, strawless cages
• 40 million male chicks are shredded alive in Britain each year
• 50% of European dairy cows go lame in any one year, due to overfeeding and lack of exercise.
--> I recently graduated in Geography from Cambridge University. Before that, I did a DTS with YWAM, and I’m now preparing for longer-term evangelistic mission in Europe. I’ve been vegan for 2 years, convinced that the church has a responsibility to act on animal ethics issues. We’re at a moment of rapid change in society regarding animal ethics, and it’s time for the church to take the lead and live out the prophet’s vision – “the wolf will lay down with the lamb – they will neither hurt not destroy on all my holy mountain” (Isaiah 11:6).
 The Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW), 2014 Report, page 42, http://www.bbfaw.com/media/1054/bbfaw_2014_report.pdf (16:59, 12/07/16);
 Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), Strategic Plan, 2013-7: For Kinder, Fairer Farming Worldwide, p2 http://www.ciwf.org.uk/media/3640540/ciwf_strategic_plan_20132017.pdf (16:43, 07/07/16)
 BBFAW, 2014 Report, page 42, http://www.bbfaw.com/media/1054/bbfaw_2014_report.pdf (16:59, 12/07/16)
 CIWF, Strategic Plan, 2013-7: For Kinder, Fairer Farming Worldwide; Pye-Smith, C. (2003), Batteries Not Included;
 de Castella, T., ‘Do people know where their chicken comes from?’, BBC [Online], 23/10/14, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-29219843 (15:49, 28/07/16)
 Gray, L., ’40 million chicks on ‘conveyor belt to death’’, 04/11/10, Telegraph [Online], http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/earthnews/8107957/40-million-chicks-on-conveyor-belt-to-death.html(15:41, 28/07/16)